Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) Make Research Finding Available To Farmers,” Says Mwanamvekha
Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Hon. Joseph Mwanamvekha MP, has emphasised on the need for researchers to communicate their research findings to farmers in order to boost the country’s agricultural production.
Hon. Mwanamvekha said this when he presided over the opening of the International Conference on Sustainable agriculture under changing climate in Sub Saharan Africa (SANCCSSA) at Bingu International Convention centre in Lilongwe on Tuesday, 16th October 2018.
LUANAR and Norwegian University of Life Sciences, through the Capacity Building for Managing Climate Change (CABMACC) programme, jointly organised the research dissemination conference in order to present key findings from research projects undertaken in the CABMACC Programme and other research projects conducted by LUANAR and its partners.
The Minister said this is an important conference as it is touching on issues of sustainable agriculture as well as natural resource management which are very critical. However he emphasised that the results that have come out of these projects must be made known to farmers.
“As you aware that we are facing a lot of challenges in the agriculture sector, the research will help to address those challenges that we are facing. So whatever the research findings are, those that can benefit the farmer should be communicated to the farmer because he or she is the one who will use that information on the ground. If we just put our research papers in our shelves, they will be of no use. It is very important that the farmer should know what is happening.” He said.
Hon. Mwanamvekha said Malawi is doing very well in terms of research as new technologies are being developed to boost agricultural production and new varieties of crops have been introduced. What is remaining now is to make use of the technologies that are being developed in order to tackle the challenges that the country is facing.
Speaking in an interview, Norwegian Embassy Deputy Head of Development Cooperation, Merethe Luis said researchers should disseminate information especially when it comes to the issue of environment and agriculture.
Luis, who represented the Norwegian Ambassador at the conference, added that farmers should understand the language and acquire full knowledge of practices such as new farming methods.
In response to the Minister’s plea, Vice Chancellor of LUANAR, Professor George Kanyama Phiri said there is hope that the research results will help farmers to adopt new farming methods that will enable them to cope up with challenges being caused by climate change.
“We have done several research projects under the CABMACC projects which focused in both crop and animal production in response to climate change. The impact of these studies will be very good such that small holder farmers will be able to respond to climate change,” said the Vice Chancellor.
Professor Phiri therefore pledged to walk the talk by disseminating the information to smallholder farmers in a language they can understand.
“It is therefore very important that research of this nature should not be kept in offices. As a university, we will make sure that all the presentations made at this conference should be published and made available to farmers. We will also be following up to make sure that the information that has been sent to them is actually put into practice.” He concluded.
The three day conference which commenced on 16th October will end on 18th October 2018 has brought together delegates from various countries including Norway, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda among others.